Top Six Great Game No-Nos: What NOT to do if you (really) want to play The Game
During the time that we’ve been helping others implement The Great Game of Business, we’ve seen the ups and downs and are often surprised by the number of people who are “fair-weather Great Gamers”, meaning they have passion and intent to play The Great Game of Business®, but are missing the mark in one or more areas. Here are the top six (because five just wasn’t enough) Great Game No-nos:
Don’t forget to Meet. Consistency is the key to success. Your team needs to be meeting frequently, and that means more than once a month (even if it’s just in small groups). Also, set a time and stick to it. We call this a huddle. If you have a consistent, set time, it will help eliminate ‘conflicts in schedule’ because everyone should be in a routine of blocking that time off on their calendar.
Don’t just share the numbers. If you’re playing The Game, your team should be driving results and providing the numbers at your staff meetings. You should not be simply giving them a spreadsheet at month-end detailing your accounts. That’s history, and you can’t change it. (PS: This means your employees will have to be educated about your business)
Don’t pick the wrong trainers. Who knows the numbers better in your company than your own accountants? Probably (hopefully) no one. That’s why they are most qualified to teach your folks the financials, right? Wrong. While there are certainly several accountants out there who will make excellent teachers, learning financials from a trained accountant would be like having Lady Gaga teach your grandmother about fashion: frightening and frustrating.
Don’t use the book as a how-to guide. Too often, people treat inspirational books like The Great Game of Business as a text when really, it’s a memoir. The book doesn’t detail the methodology it takes to really implement The Game successfully. Put bluntly, reading The Great Game of Business makes you no more of an expert in implementing Open-Book Management than the next guy. Would you read a book about medicine and then try to perform surgery; I sure hope not. If you want to learn “how-to” attend a workshop or talk with a coach (shameless plug).
Don’t forget to involve your people in planning. Recently Jack told us that High Involvement Planning is one of the first practices a team should take on. So what is HIP? It’s a bi-annual process where your team gathers the information necessary to make an educated plan for the next year. Don’t miss the opportunity to gather valuable information, opinions and buy-in from your entire staff; you never know who might have a golden idea.
Don’t underestimate the power of first impressions. Implementing The Game is typically a big cultural change and should not be taken lightly. Make sure your team is given the training and tools they need to do their part. Also make sure they understand why you’re making this change—we want them to feel excited and empowered; not burdened. Bottom line: Do it once, do it right. If you’re team gets a positive first impression of OBM, they’re less likely to go rogue if/when something doesn’t go as expected.
So, what's the biggest no-no you've encountered with implementing The Game?